Riverbend and the Government of Reconstruction in IraqFrom Iraq, Riverbend writes
As May was drawing to a close, his [ed:Riverbend's cousin's] manager told him that someone from the CPA [ed: Coalition Provisional Authority] wanted the company to estimate the building costs of replacing the New Diyala Bridge on the South East end of Baghdad. He got his team together, they went out and assessed the damage, decided it wasn’t too extensive, but it would be costly. They did the necessary tests and analyses (mumblings about soil composition and water depth, expansion joints and girders) and came up with a number they tentatively put forward- $300,000. This included new plans and designs, raw materials (quite cheap in Iraq), labor, contractors, travel expenses, etc. Let’s pretend my cousin is a dolt. Let’s pretend he hasn’t been working with bridges for over 17 years. Let’s pretend he didn’t work on replacing at least 20 of the 133 bridges damaged during the first Gulf War. Let’s pretend he’s wrong and the cost of rebuilding this bridge is four times the number they estimated- let’s pretend it will actually cost $1,200,000. Let’s just use our imagination. A week later, the New Diyala Bridge contract was given to an American company. This particular company estimated the cost of rebuilding the bridge would be around- brace yourselves- $50,000,000 !!IN OTHER WORDS, HALLIBURTON IS JACKING UP PRICES FOURTEEN HUNDRED PERCENT! The Republican Party, when it began, instantly became the most corrupt regime in U.S. History. The Republican Congress sold out America to the railroads, Oakes Aames, Conklin and the hapless U.S. Grant were constantly making money off America. The Republican party was started to end slavery. This goal is accomplished, let the party retire. Let their MASSIVE FRAUD AGAINST US TAXPAYERS, both during Civil War Reconstruction and Iraqi Reconstruction, can not be tolerated. OK, maybe Riverbend didn't actually get the numbers right the first time, and maybe she hasn't gone back to change them, but it still SOUNDS like it is worthy of an investigation... where's the press corps?